New Delhi: The committee set up by the Election Commission to probe the source of leak of Karnataka polls date schedule will knock on the doors of Karnataka Congress’s social media in-charge Srivatsa B but not BJP’s IT Cell head Amit Malviya, say the terms of reference.
Ahead of the official announcement by CEC O.P Rawat on Tuesday, BJP IT cell chief Amit Malviya had tweeted that voting will be held on May 12 and the counting will take place on May 18. Malviya and Srivatsa tweeted at 11.08 am, while an English news channel tweeted it at 11.06 am. In the tweet, which was later deleted after controversy erupted, Malviya got the polling date right but got the counting date wrong.
In statement that came shortly after the controversy erupted, the election commission had referred to Malviya’s tweet and said, “The Commission immediately directed that the matter be probed and necessary and effective action be taken. Accordingly, Commission has constituted a committee of senior officers of Election Commission to investigate the matter and give its report within seven days”.
However, in its terms of reference for probe, the commission does not mention Malviya but names Srivatsa, and a ‘Kannada channel’ allegedly owned by a BJP MP.
A spokesperson of the poll body told a news agency that Malviya’s letter on the controversy had reached the EC on Tuesday afternoon, therefore, he is not mentioned in the office order.
Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi said ‘absolving’ Malviya’s name ‘dents (the EC’s) image and authority’.
“Dear EC, While we welcome any investigation to ensure that your credibility is not undermined however find it extremely shocking that IT head of BJP has been absolved even before enquiry begins. This definitely dents your own image and authority. Yours sincerely Indian Citizen,” she tweeted today.
Malviya, in his letter to the poll body had attributed his knowledge of the poll dates to news channel Times Now. He had shared with the Commission a screenshot of his tweet, and a TV screen grab of Times Now’s display of dates on its channel. He had also shared a screenshot of a similar tweet by Congress’ Srivatsa B, who is mentioned in the Commission’s ‘terms of reference’.
The Election Commission (EC) is likely to approach to home ministry to get the call records of all those who were in the know of the official schedule of the election and counting dates.